Crucifixion - Andrea Mantegna. Wood, 76 x 96 cm
Andrea Mantegna, like many artists of his time, was fond of Antiquity, but he was interested in, first of all, Ancient Rome, rather than Greece. That is why his paintings and murals were distinguished by monumentality and sculptural rigor. A vivid example of this is the "Crucifixion", which was once part of the altar of the Verona church of San Zeno.
And the heroes of the picture - the martyrs on the crosses and people mourning them, and the landscape seem to us as strict, even stone. The composition is arranged in smooth lines. Vertical crosses, lines of stone slabs leading to clear mountains of a regular geometric shape, set off groups of people. From this symmetry, they seem to the audience even more lonely and desperate amid all the horror of what is happening.
Some critics blame Mantegna for some blind adherence to ideal forms, which is why his creations are deprived of emotions and feelings, however, in this case, the painter’s reception only added drama to the reproduction of the famous plot.
At the end of the 18th century, on the orders of Napoleon, the altar was sawn and exported to France, where it is now located. While the original is kept in the Louvre, in San Zeno it is replaced by a copy of Mantegna's mural.